A NEW link with another club enabled seven new signings to help Knutsford FC achieve a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The point earned at Billinge put an end to Reds' sequence of six straight defeats.

"We have developed a connection with Stockport Town U21s as a bridge between youth and adult (step 7) football," said chairman Jimmy Evans.

"The majority of the new lads came from there."

Knutsford have been suffering with player availability issues for much of the Cheshire League Premier Division season.

But with seven changes to the previous week's 3-0 home loss to Greenalls, including five 18-year-olds in the starting line-up, it brought much needed energy and enthusiasm to Jordan Gunter's side.

Reds took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute.

Kieran Morrisey drove down the right and fired in to the near post where Ashley Austin reacted first to bundle the ball home off his chest for a deserved lead in the windy conditions.

Billinge equalised in the second half from the penalty spot.

Right back Ashnie Harvey was harshly adjudged to have fouled his forward in the box and up stepped Lamont to fire into the bottom corner.

The goal came against the balance of play, when in truth, the game could have been over by then with the chances Knutsford had created.

"All 5 young debutants were excellent and brought much needed effort, enthusiasm and energy to the side which lifted the regular lads and delivered a spirited performance that was worth more than a point," said Evans.

"It was our youngest line-up in many a year with average age of 22 and no fear.

"Still much to do but a step in the right direction."

Knutsford: Dimeji Willard, Ashnie Harvey, Marcus Belcher, George Riley, Micky Cartner, Kieran Morrisey, Mark Evans, Tez Butler (Ryan Moss), Milan Thompson, Ashley Austin, Wilf Riley (Kyle Phipps). Subs not used: Louis Welch, Rafe Beresford.

Reds are next in action at home to league leaders Whaley Bridge on February 22, kick-off 2pm.